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News 04.2013.2








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Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Rio Tinto says its Bougainville mine is viable

The Rio-Tinto mine that sparked the civil war on Papua New Guinea's island of Bougainville is economically viable and could be re-opened in as little as 6 years.

Bougainville Copper, the Rio subsidiary that owns the mine lease, has just completed an order of magnitude study which shows the project is viable.

It is more than a decade since the war ended but sensitivities remain.

Jemima Garrett reports.

Presenter: Jemima Garrett

Speaker: Bougainville Copper's Managing Director, Peter Taylor, Former President, James Tanis




Bougainville Copper's Managing Director, Peter Taylor, has not set foot on the island since the war but has been working towards the re-opening of the mine.

The order of magnitude study released at the company's Annual General Meeting in Port Moresby is a first look at mine viability.

Even with commodity prices down, Mr Taylor is optimistic.

GARRETT: The mine has the potential to produce 170,000 tonnes of copper a year and half a million ounces of gold - putting it in the top ten gold and copper mines globally.

Start-up costs are estimated at around 5 billion dollars.

TAYLOR: I've estimated that it is about a six year project but that is on the basis of us getting access so we are not starting the clock now. It really depends on getting to the mine site and having a look what is there and confirming some of the assumptions we have made in that order of magnitude study.

GARRETT: More than 10,000 people died as a result of the civil war.

Bougainville went from being PNG's most prosperous province to a no-go zone with barely a school or a hospital operating.

Since the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2001 Bougainvilleans have been focussing on putting their lives and their economy back together.

That has prompted a reassessment of the value of Rio Tinto's mine at Panguna.

President John Momis is in favour of re-opening the mine and is preparing the way for detailed Bougainville wide discussions.

Former President, James Tanis, spent the war years fighting alongside rebel leader, Francis Ona.

TANIS: I come from a guerrilla army that fought against the Panguna mine but I have come to notice that there is already mining on Bougainville. After the conflict people now know the value of the stone under the ground. It has made me realise that mining is an industry that will be an important part of the Bougainville economy.

GARRETT:There is still a small minority of people who are strongly against re-opening of the Bougainville copper mine. How will you avoid bloodshed if there is a re-opening of the mine?

TANIS: I do believe we should re-open it but we have to be careful on how we follow the process, meaning that we have a small minority group and it is important that we listen to them, try to understand where they are coming from and come up with a solution that accommodates everybody.

GARRETT: Talking counts for a lot on Bougainville.

Bougainville Copper, MD Peter Taylor, says the negotiations to re-open the mine will not be rushed.

TAYLOR: What I have said to the Bougainville government and the landowners is I want them to set the agenda. I want them to tell me what it is that they want. So they will bring their agenda to the negotiating table and obviously we may have to compromise. But the different approach is going to be won't be driven as it was in the first place by an Administration from Australia. It will be from day One negotiations between the people on the ground, the landowners in the mine site, the government of Bougainville and the other population of Bougainville.

GARRETT: Overseeing the negotiations will be the Board of Bougainville Copper which includes former Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu and its latest recruit, the widely respected former PNG community services Minister Dame Carol Kidu.

KIDU: As I am the first woman to go on there maybe I can bring some new perspectives. In terms of the corporate social responsibility I am very keen to get into that work later when it is appropriate.I am also interested to pursue the agendas of gender and social inclusion to ensure that, try to maximise any benefits and minimise the damage.

GARRETT: Conflict over mine revenue and environmental impacts fuelled the war on Bougainville.

James Tanis hopes modern mangement will make the difference.

TANIS: Panguna was negotiated in the 1960s when there was little knowledge on environmental issues mining brings. Technology has improved. Maybe with better technology, better environment policies and legislation, maybe we have a future with mining on Bougainville.




Source: Post-Courier

Post-Courier opens two new offices in AROB

Post-Courier Managing Director Kevin Smith and his father Percy enjoying the Buka hospitality with a traditional bamboo band at the opening of the new Buka office. Picture by Winterford Toreas.


Source: Post-Courier

Rio’s case vacated

 THE United States Supreme Court last week vacated the landmark en banc decision by the Ninth Circuit in the long-standing Alien Tort Statute litigation Sarei v. Rio Tinto PLC (No. 11-649). 

 This is the case, originally filed in 2000, by Dr Alexis Sarei and other landowners of Panguna, alleging that mining giant Rio Tinto was responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in connection with its mining operations on Bougainville. The case has been on-going in Seattle, United States of America.

 This decision follows the Supreme Court’s ruling last week in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (No. 10-1491) which affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by Nigerian nationals under the Alien Tort Statute for human rights violations allegedly committed by the government of Nigeria with the aid of Royal Dutch.

 But lawyers representing the Bougainville landowners in this class action case told the Post-Courier yesterday that the battle was not over and that they would continue to advance the case on behalf of their clients as they have for more than a decade.

 The lawyers, Brent Walton and Steve Berman, the Managing Partner of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in a release to the Post-Courier from Seattle, United States of America said that the Court’s decision was disappointing and a complete reversal of well-established precedent spanning several decades but advised they will not stop there.

“The Court’s decision is disappointing and a complete reversal of well-established precedent spanning several decades,” Steve Berman, the lead counsel for plaintiffs in the Rio Tinto litigation said. 

“But the battle isn’t over. We will continue to advance our case on behalf of our clients as we have for more than a decade.”

The case will now move back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it has already been argued four times. The Ninth Circuit will review the case in light of the Supreme Court’s Kiobel decision and has asked parties to submit briefing by the end of next month. 

“Like all civilized nations, the United States and its courts have long recognised the universal obligation to hold accountable those who commit the most deplorable human rights violations wherever they are committed,” Mr Berman said. “This was true before the Supreme Court decision and remains true today.”

The case, one of the oldest on the federal docket, claims that Rio Tinto’s mining operations on Bougainville destroyed the local environment, dumping massive amounts of toxic waste that poisoned residents and dispossessed them of ancestral lands. Following a popular uprising by residents and workers at the mine, protesting the damage and slave-like working conditions, Rio allegedly orchestrated a military blockade and assault on the island. The blockade, according to court documents, resulted in the deaths of an estimated 15,000 native Bougainvillians, including several thousand children.

 The lawyers are planning another visit to PNG and Bougainville in the not too distant future.


Source: Post-Courier

US embassy donates books to AROB school


 AN elementary school in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was the proud recipient of library books donated by the US Embassy in Port Moresby.

 The library books were personally delivered to Elutupan Elementary School in the Haku constituency in Buka, by the US Ambassador to PNG and the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Walter North last Thursday.

 Ambassador Walter North, before donating the books challenged the students to strive hard in their 

 studies and become successful in future.

 He also passed on greetings from the US President, Barrack Obama, and his secretary of state to the students, teachers and people of Elutupan.

 Students’ representative, Greg Lames when thanking the US Ambassador, said they are privileged to have been given the much needed library books.

 He said the books will definitely help enhance their knowledge and skills.

 North Bougainville MP Lauta Atoi, who was also present to witness the donation also thanked Ambassador Walter North for the timely donation of library books. 

 Mr Atoi added that it has always been his intention to ensure that all schools throughout his electorate have access to library books.

 Mr Atoi also took the opportunity to update the parents, teachers and students of Elutupan Primary and Elementary Schools on the huge amount of money that the national government is pumping into the education sector in the country.

 Bougainville Division of Education representative Mary Manaha urged the teachers to look after the books.

 She also challenged them to ensure that these books be easily accessed by the students to improve their learning and education.

US Ambassador Walter North and the Elutupan elementary school students proudly smiling with some of the donated library books.Picture: WINTERFORD TOREAS. 


Source: Post-Courier

ABG urged to conduct awareness on peace agreement 


 THE Autonomous Bougainville Government is now faced with an urgent need to embark on a major awareness drive to disseminate information and educate Bougainvilleans, especially those living in the villages and rural communities, on the progress achieved so far by the ABG.

 This is because most Bougainvilleans are still in the dark and need to be educated on many of the changes that Bougainville is currently going through.

 The above scenario was revealed during the recently held 3rd Regional Forum on Panguna Negotiations, which was held in Buin, South Bougainville last week.

 Many of the participants who attended the forum said there was an urgent need for the ABG to start organising and staging awareness meetings to educate the entire population on the changes and developments taking place in Bougainville.

 According to one of the participants, one of the issues that needs urgent attention is the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

 Rev. Ben Toworai from the Rataiku United Church Circuit in Siwai said many Bougainvilleans still do not have a fair idea on the BPA.

 He said although it is now more than 10 years since the BPA signing took place in Arawa, Central Bougainville on August 31, 2001, most Bougainvilleans are still not familiar with the contents of the BPA or its purpose.

 That is why the ABG needs to urgently start conducting educational awareness on some of the key issues spelled out in the BPA.

 Other speakers at the forum also called on the ABG to update them on the different types of powers and functions which have already been drawn down from the national government level to the ABG.

 Similar calls were previously raised by Bougainvilleans when the Bougainville Review Team in-charge of conducting the review on the ABG’s autonomy arrangements visited their villages recently.






Source: Radio New Zealand International

Bougainville MP aims for unity

The regional member of parliament for Papua New Guinea’s autonomous province of Bougainville says his primary goal is to unite the people in the conflict-torn region.

Joseph Lera, who is a first-time MP in the PNG parliament, says Bougainvilleans must take ownership of decision-making in their province in order for there to be unity and prosperity.

He told Johnny Blades that Bougainville society remains fragmented, years after the civil war wound up"

“One of my first tasks is to unite the leaders. Not only unite, but also come up with a concept to involve them to participate in decision-making, and with the mining development and also finding answers to other issues affecting Bougainville after the crisis.”

And do these issues need to be fully resolved and unity forged first before the mine reopens?

“That’s what I think. First we have to unite. I think the answer to the mine is with the people. And through that unity I’m trying to build, I think the people themselves must decide. At the moment that has not been the case. It’s people outside trying to come in with answers. My belief is the answer is with my people and the leader has to do six things. One - set a reason, two - guide the people, three - support them, four - our system, five - direct them and six - unite. Through that process, from the leader’s perspective, I think that people will come up with appropriate and relevant answers to the issues affecting Bougainville and hopefully that is in relation to the opening of the mine.”

Are you on the same page as the president of the ABG on this?

“Teamwork becomes very important with the president. If I’m going to be the voice of the president, the ABG and the people, I have to work very closely. So I’ve been trying to build that relationship in the last five, six months. And it’s working for the good of Bougainville.”

It must be difficult with these outside influences coming in trying to get the mine reopened quickly or as quickly as possible. There’s pressure, isn’t there?

“It’s really difficult. That’s why the people are not responding. I’m saying through the process of uniting and involving people to participate in decision-making the answer is with the people of Bougainville. And hopefully soon, through that process I’m establishing, we can find the answer. It’s not with the outsiders.”

What about money? Money is a problem, isn’t it? You need it for some of these things, to help people forge a better way of life.

“I think that’s when the outsiders can help us to facilitate this process of uniting and allowing people to come together, take part and participate in decision-making.”

Bougainville Regional Member, Joseph Lera.





Source: Islands Business

Panguna landowners want mine reopened

PORT MORESBY, PNG --- Landowners of the Panguna Mine in Central Bougainville have reaffirmed their stand that they want the mine to be reopened. 

The assurance was delivered by an executive member of the United Panguna Mine Affected Landowners Association (UPMALA) during the 3rd Regional Forum on Panguna Negotiations that was held in Buin, South Bougainville, early this week. 

The UPMALA is an umbrella organisation made up of the nine landowner associations from the mine’s affected communities. 

UPMALA executive Chief Michael Pariu (pictured) said they supported the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s (ABG) decision to reopen the Panguna mine because they see that it will generate and boost the ABG’s revenue which will then be used to bring about tangible developments in Bougainville. 


The ABG has identified the reopening of the mine as a priority issue because it will generate the revenue which could be used to address all pressing needs and issues currently facing Bougainville. 


At the moment Bougainville is only raising about K6 million annually which is not enough to address and sustain Bougainville’s needs before the referendum period. 

Chief Pariu said they understood the financial situation of the ABG, therefore they were also supporting the decision to reopen the mine. 

Pariu added that they would stand behind any decision which would benefit the landowners, all Bougainvilleans and the ABG. 

He also clarified misleading reports, saying that it was the Me’ekamui faction and their supporters who have been going against the reopening of the mine, and not the landowners as what many people have been thinking. 

He, however, said UPMALA had already started discussions to try and lure them to their side to support the reopening of the mine. 

Chief Pariu is now appealing to all factions and people in Bougainville to be united with the ABG in its drive to facilitate moves towards the reopening of the mine.






Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The US Ambassador to PNG, SOLOMON ISLAND and VANUATU, WALTER NORTH returned to Port Moresby this afternoon after visiting Bougainville this week.

He arrived in Buka on Wednesday and made a courtesy call to the ABG President DR. JOHN MOMIS and other Bougainville leaders.

He was able to donate some library books to the Eltupan Primary School on Buka island on Thursday.

The ambassador and his team also visited Arawa on Friday.

This morning the ambassador went live on New Dawn FM and described his first visit to the region as worthwhile.

He told New Dawn FM that USA has been a friend for PNG and Bougainville even before the First and Second world wars.

The ambassador said that US even had early missionaries that came to educate Bougainvilleans by establishing Schools and Hospitals throughout the region.

Ambassador WALTER NORTH said that despite the wet season he managed to see a lot of developments taking place throughout the region.

He told New Dawn FM that communication was very important for Bougainville to educate the masses before they go into referendum.

The ambassador also thanked New Dawn FM for utilizing technology to disseminate information of Bougainville from location and throughout the world with their small but powerful operation.

Pictured are US Ambassador Walter North and Aloysius Laukai talking at the New Dawn FM Studios in Buka





Source:  ESBC Research


Polish designer Oskar Zieta creates fancy furniture for  copper on the image!





Source: ESBC Research

MR. PIP - The official Trailer (HD) :






Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG President, DR.JOHN MOMIS this week confirmed his alliance to Bougainville’s Independence.

In his closing remarks at the Buin forum on the future of Panguna mine, PRESIDENT MOMIS told the people of Bougainville that he was totally committed to the Independence of Bougainville.

He said that no one can question his stand as he has from day one fought on the floor of parliament for total independence of Bougainville.

DR. MOMIS was refuting to claims by some people that he was against the Independence for Bougainville.

He said he was always for independence, however he wants Bougainville to raise all its revenues to run the region.

DR. MOMIS said that currently the region was not raising enough funds that can sustain the Independent state of Bougainville.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Lera to meet people

By Aloysius Laukai

Plans by the Regional member for Bougainville to visit the people of Bougainville especially the COE’s will become a reality soon.

According to the Regional member, he would organize three regional forums in North Central and South Bougainville to talk to the people how he would distribute the FIFTEEN MILLION KINA allocated To the Regional member this year.

Two forums are scheduled for Central and South Bougainville on the following dates,

From the 29th of April to 3rd of May and for Central Bougainville and for South Bougainville the dates are from the 6th of May to May 10th,2013.

According to the program, the ABG President DR. JOHN MOMIS will be the guest of Honour at both of these forums.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Mose appeals for names

By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG member for Selau, Terry Mose is appealing to the people of Selau especially his Gohi villagers to return the Yamaha Outboard motor engine to the Buka Hospital.

He was speaking on New Dawn FM Talkback show this morning.

MR. MOSE said that is was very frustrating to get criticism from the public mentioning GOHI village without actually calling the name of the person involved.

He said that he has been talking to his village people but to date no one has come out and admitted or owned up.

He said that he would like to appeal again to immediately return the machine if it is in their hands as the good name of their village has been tarnished.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

Despite the establishment of health facilities throughout Bougainville and Papua New Guinea,

The people continue to rely on different types of herbs and plants for some medical healing.

And on Bougainville, nearly every two weeks new people come with new products for the people of Bougainville to choose from.

This morning New Dawn FM managed to talk to one woman, TAMEAN TABUN who says that Jinga juice completely healed her from her heart problems of the past.

Tamean Tabun from the East New Britain Province told New Dawn FM in Buka that JINGA JUICE is a product of the Philippines and can heal people who have similar problems.

TAMEAN said that the JINGA JUICE is available in Buka and she can be contacted on mobile number 73827342





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The two-days South Bougainville Forum on the future of Panguna mine was hailed a success.

Participants who attended the forum told New Dawn FM that despite the heated debates during question time the forum ended with a very good outcome.

And New Dawn FM noted that all the various presenters highly recommended that the Mine must be re-opened to support the ABG raise the much needed funds to provide goods and services to the people of Bougainville.

They also called on the ABG to talk with the factions and iron out their differences and allow the work to progress under the new soon to be enacted mining law for Bougainville.

They also called on the Panguna Landowners themselves to do some more work of reconciliation so that the environment is conducive for the work to start.

All participants recognized the situation the ABG was faced with at the moment.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

One Bougainville Businessman, DOMINIC TOAPALA has condemned the actions taken by the staff and management of the Buka General Hospital to close the Hospital over the recent theft of the Buka hospital boat.

He told New Dawn FM today that he wanted to speak at the public forum but did not have the chance to talk his idea to avoid the current problems being faced by the Buka General Hospital.

MR. TOAPALA said that whilst he sympathized with the Hospital he does not accept the number of deaths occurring because of the 14day strike by the staff.

He said one option the Hospital and the Bougainville administration can do was to move all Hospital staff to the Katsinkuri and move day staff to Sohano to minimize the number of problems currently faced by the Hospital.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tom Kathoa

The Member for North Bougainville in the National Parliament, Hon Lauta Atoi has rescued delegates to the Catch the Fire Church conference on Sohano Island with a timely donation of K10, 0000.

Member Atoi announced the financial assistance during the official opening of the weeklong conference on Sohano early this week.

In making the announcement, Mr. Atoi said churches played an important role in helping the government bring development and prosperity to the region.

The government has an equal responsibility to assist the churches in carrying out their outreach programs.

The Member for North Bougainville said the visit by these overseas servants of God has come at the right time when Bougainville is going through a period reconciliation and preparation for referendum and eventual independence.

His assistance of K10,000 is a sign that he wants to work closely with church in developing a person spiritually.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The United States Ambassador, WALTER NORTH is visiting Bougainville this week.

He arrived in Buka yesterday and made a courtesy call on the ABG President DR. JOHN MOMIS and other Bougainville leaders.

Today the Ambassador donated some library books to the ELTUPAN primary school in the Haku area.

The Ambassador and his team will also visit Arawa before returning to Port Moresby on 27th April, 2013.

Ambassador Walter North is ambassador for PAPUA NEW GUINEA, SOLOMON ISLANDS and VANUATU.

He is a career member of the senior foreign service holding the rank of career minister.

He was sworn in as the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea on November 7th,2012.

Prior to that Ambassador North served as the mission director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Egypt.

He served as the mission director in India, Indonesia and Zambia.

Other overseas postings include Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

He will talk live on New Dawn FM on Saturday morning before he returns to Port Moresby.





Source: Post-Courier

US Ambassador visits AROB


 US AMBASSADOR to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Walter North yesterday arrived in Buka on his first visit to Bougainville.

 Ambassador North has been in PNG since November last year and quipped that the best way to understand the country is to get out of Port Moresby.

 His Excellency will be in the Autonomous Region with busy schedule until Saturday.

 He was welcomed at Buka airport by a police parade, the Member for North Bougainville Hon Lauta Atoi and members of the Bougainville Administration.

 The Ambassador thanked the gathering at the airport for their warm welcome and praised the police parade. He also relayed greetings from US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

 High on His Excellency’s agenda is discussing the progress of the peace process after Bougainville’s ten-year civil war.

 The diplomat said he was here to listen to the people on the ground and learn about their day-to-day lives, including their views on the peace process.

 He said whilst his country has a keen interest in Bougainville, the Region’s issues can only be “resolved through the people”.

Ambassador North said he would be talking to members of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and other Bougainvilleans, including women and youth representatives.

“Young people are a critical part of the peace process,” he said. “They can be drivers of political change.”

He also expressed concern about gender violence against women in Papua New Guinea and encouraged those who have been vocal on the issue.

 The Ambassador spoke of the historical relationship the US has shared with Bougainville dating back to WWII. He said there were special memories for his country but was looking forward into the future.

 Ambassador North said the US would work with Bougainvilleans to help them realise their dreams and achieve their development objectives.

 Ambassador North is a career diplomat.


US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Walter North inspects the police guard of honour upon his arrival at Buka airport yesterday. 





ESBC Research

Improvement of Banking Services on Bougainville !









Source: ESBC

Today no trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) due to the Australian national holiday ANZAC DAY!


Source: Stockhouse Blog

Response to: Momis responds to criticism of Mining law (see below)

by DDiscovery


ESBC comments: DDiscovery seems to be some kind of spearhead speaker of the fraudulent Canadian Morumbi Resources Inv. headed by notorious conman Lindsay Semple. This article has to be considered as another sample of desperate backdoor player activity in the internet

that is nowadays known as "shit storm" !

This is an article from the Australian Regan who drafted Momis' mining policy. It is clearly dead wrong and once again sponsored by the deeply frustrated European shareholders of BCL. Let's tackle the deliberately false accusations and twisted facts one by one:


1. An investigation is underway this week on Bougainville by the Public Accounts Committee into Momis as to his dealings with two Chinese groups. It is widely believed among the islanders that he signed secret deals with them on mining concessions. Momis is of Chinese descent and was born on New Britain island. He never was and certainly won't ever by viewed by the people as a true Bougainvillian.


2. Momis made a huge mistake by claiming in the Regan draft mining policy that the ABG and the landowners will JOINTLY own the land and it's natural resources. He seems to deliberately forget that section 23 of the Constitution is their culture, it is not about the mining or the product of minerals from their lands. They are willing to give ALL Bougainvillians unfettered accessto their minerals as long as THEY  retain title and invite their partners.


3. The chiefs and ex-combattants created the current system and will see to it that any Bougainville Mining Policy without section 23 embedded as the foundation statement is not acceptable. This is not just a threat, they will fight for this until the bitter end if necessary. The fact that Momis refuses to acknowledge this shows that he isn't a real Bougainvillian. Not by birth and certainly not by spirit.


4. It is a cheap lie and a serious twist of facts that the Mining Policy proposed by the landowners and ex-combattants will not share the proceeds of mining operations with all the Bougainvillians (see also point 2). The Regan/Momis policy doesn't even mention the terms and conditions for the operator, the resource owner and the Government. What king of Act is that? Landowners must have equity from the start and must be involved.


5. The Regan article demonstrates how transparant the Morumbi process has been. Morumbi has made no secrets about the MoU's, signed by the way by broad representative groups of landowners. In the case of Karato for example the MoU was signed off by not less than 44 directors, each one representing their clan and subclan. Momis on the other hand signed secret deals with Chinese groups that have not been made available. This will not be forgotten and Momis will be confronted with it during the upcoming big consultation forums in Bana and Arawa.


6. All of a sudden Momis has invited dialogue, but this is a coward's act as there have been five respectfully written formal requests for meetings by representative groups from Central Bougainville to discuss the Regan policy and he has refused or cancelled all five.


Nobody is going to hand us what some geo's are saying is a cluster of ore bodies that may be akin to Grassberg. The battle is ongoing, this is the stress test of our model. Momis will have to give in and compromise. Does he want to be remembered as the President who tried to outsmart the Bougainville population with a disastrous mining polica based on bad foreign advice and secret deals with the Chinese? It would for sure ignite a new civil war.


Long & strong on Morumbi !!!





Source: The National

President John Momis responds to Joseph Watawi's pamphlet publiched on April 17th, 2013 in the PNG newspaper The National:


Click on the text to zoom in !




Source: Post-Courier

Ex-rebel supports Momis

A SOUTH Bougainville Chief has expressed strong support for Bougainville president Dr Chief John Momis (pictured).

Chief John Taipa Tauria, an ex-combatant, said the president was an honest leader who had a heart for his people.


“I feel very sorry that a small group of people are questioning his leadership,” said the Chief in Tok Pisin. “It would be good if they could instead work together with him for the good of Bougainville.”


Mr Tauria added that the Autonomous Bougainville Government was the legitimate government in Bougainville and must be given support.

He said that he was in favour of the president’s vision to re-open the Panguna mine. 

“Why is there money full up in the ground and we are not benefitting?” he asked. “All of Bougainville went to war because of the trouble at Panguna. Men and women died, businesses were destroyed, people’s belongings were torched and plenty of men, women and children still feel the pain,’’ he said.

“Who will compensate them all? The Panguna mine – that’s all! Bring BCL (Bougainville Copper Limited) and they can compensate us to bring some good back from what they destroyed. If you bring other people in to re-open the mine then they will say ‘we didn’t cause the problem, it was BCL’.”

The chief said he believed that if BCL came back they would straighten out what happened to the people of Bougainville.

“Panguna is now for all the people of Bougainville, we all fought and some died because of it.”

Mr Tauria also asked people to stop criticising Mr Momis over the Chinese in Bougainville operating retail outlets.

“President Momis said that foreign business people can come in partnership with Bougainvilleans. But they can’t operate the small businesses that Bougainvilleans can operate.”

He said it was the people themselves, not the ABG, who had brought the Chinese in to partner with them in retail outlets. He also said that the Chinese paid their taxes, whereas most Bougainvilleans did not.

“I don’t want Chinese people coming here and selling tinned fish and rice like they do in other parts of the country. But I don’t blame the ABG, I blame us Bougainvilleans,” he said.


Source: Post-Courier

Police call on housing


BOUGAINVILLE police personnel based in Buin, South Bougainville, are calling on their hierarchy in Buka to address their accommodation needs. 

The policemen and women had decided to come out publicly by voicing their concern after seeing that nothing has been done to improve their living conditions. 

They said the houses that they were currently living in were no longer fit for people to “use anymore”. 


“The houses that we are living in have been built many years ago and are not fit for us to use anymore. That is why we want them to source funding somewhere to address our accommodation needs,” the police officers said.


“We have been living in these houses since passing out from the Bomana Police College in 2004. It is now nearly 10 years that we have been living in these houses but nothing has been done to improve our housing conditions.

“During the rainy seasons, we would move around in the house to find a dry spot to sleep. 

“During the rainy seasons, if you come inside our houses you would think that we have swimming pools inside our houses.’’

They added that they would stick cardboards at the walls of the buildings to stop rainwater from flowing into their houses through the rotten bamboo-made walls. 

The police officers said to make it worse, there were no proper kitchens or toilets for them to use.

The only police houses at Buin that are still in good condition are those occupied by the senior police officers and the single police barracks.

In responding to the complaints from the police, Chief Executive Officer for Bougainville Division of Law and Justice Chris Siriosi said yesterday that the Law and Justice Sector program would soon be funding the construction of six houses for police in Buin.


Source: The National

AusAID chief: Bougainville needs a lot more work 


AUSAID deputy director-general James Batley says a lot of rehabilitation work stills needs to be done in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville following the Bougainville Crisis.

Batley, who visited Bougainville last week, told The National AusAID had a long involvement with Bougainville and was continuing to do so in its four main focus areas of health, education, transport infrastructure, and law and order.

“So, for instance, we are providing funds to maintain about 500km of the road system in Bougainville, particularly the main trunk road from Buka to Arawa,” he said.

“That’s about 80% of the roads in Bougainville. We’re supporting the education system.

“When I was in Bougainville, I handed over double classrooms in two different primary schools.

“That was along with ablution blocks and teachers’ houses in both of these schools as well.

“There are a lot of children coming back to school in Bougainville. It’s a sign of confidence in the future and we certainly want to support that.”

Batley said there was, of course, a lot of rehabilitation to work on following the Bougainville Crisis which wreaked havoc on the region.

“We’re also providing support to peace initiatives in Bougainville to make sure that the process of reconciliation can continue and that Bougainville remains a peaceful region as long as possible,” he said.

“That’s the special case of Bougainville, I guess.

“My purpose for visiting several parts of Bougainville was that we are doing good work there, and it’s certainly strongly appreciated by the people there. But obviously, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on Bougainville ... damage done during the crisis there.






Source: Radio New Zealand International

Bougainville MP says unity needs to be forged before mine reopens


The regional member of parliament for Papua New Guinea’s autonomous province of Bougainville says his people must take ownership of decision making in their province in order for there to be unity.


Joseph Lera (pictured) says Bougainville society remains fragmented years well over a decade since the civil war wound up.

His comment comes as Bougainville Copper Ltd looks to reopen the Panguna copper and gold mine which was at the centre of the Civil War and has lain idle for 24 years.

Mr Lera says unity needs to be forged, and the participation of local communities in decision-making ensured, before the mine is reopened.

“I think the answer to the mine is with the people. And through that unity that I’m trying to build, I think the people themselves must decide. At the moment, that has not been the case, it’s people outside trying to come in with answers. My belief is that the answer is with my people.”

Joseph Lera





Source: Mekamui Blog

AusAID Fuels Bougainville Mining Tensions

ESBC: The only ones who fuel tensions on Bougainville are the few Me'ekamui people who refuse to accept that a vast majority of 90 percent of Bougainvilleans want BCL to come back and resume mining! Me'ekamui are allegedly funded by Morumbi Resources. Read here Mekamui's last essay to make mischief:


Rio Tinto stands to make big profits if the Panguna mine on Bougainville reopens. In recruiting advisors with strong links to the mining giant, AusAid isn’t helping the peace process, writes Kristian Lasslett

Last week The National – one of Papua New Guinea’s major newspapers – featured a full page advertisement attacking the AusAID-funded legal adviser to Bougainville, Anthony Regan, who is also a fellow at the Australian National University.

Written by two former Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) ministers the full page spread claims that Regan, along with ABG President, John Momis, have engineered a “top-down [mining] policy” that will “take ownership, control and all decision making away from the customary landowners of Bougainville”.

Mining is a sensitive issue on Bougainville. The decade-long civil war that pounded the island during the 1990s, taking somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 lives, was triggered by Rio Tinto’s mammoth copper and gold mine, whichlandowners accused of destroying their environment and fracturing Bougainville’s tightly knit communities.

Given the intimate role Rio Tinto played in supporting brutal defence force operations during the war’s early years, the mining question to this day elicits a strong response on Bougainville.

In this tense post-conflict environment, AusAID’s recent efforts to assist the island’s government to resolve the mining question have been anything but adept.

It can now be revealed that one of Regan’s ABG co-advisors, Griffith University Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh, has direct links with Rio Tinto, a company that stands to make a large financial windfall were the mine on Bougainville to reopen.

O’Faircheallaigh’s appointment was trumpeted in an upbeat announcement on Griffith University’s website in September 2011:

“The last time the Bougainville Copper Mine was open, a civil war broke out in Papua New Guinea. This time help is at hand to re-open one of the world’s largest open-pit mines with the assistance of Griffith’s Department of Politics and Public Policy Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh. Professor O’Faircheallaigh has twice been contracted through Coffey International [AusAID service provider] to examine mineral policy options and start preparations for negotiations.”

Absent from this media release – pithily titled “Griffith academic negotiates a mine field” – is mention of O’Faircheallaigh’s close association with the research project at the epicentre of a recent controversy involving Marcia Langton and her Boyer Lectures (“Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: Economic Empowerment, Wealth Creation and Industrial Reform for Sustainable Indigenous and Local Communities”). Along with Langton, O’Faircheallaigh is a chief investigator on the $480,000 study, which is part bankrolled by Santos ($45,000), Woodside ($30,000), and perhaps most controversially, given O’Faircheallaigh’s role on Bougainville, Rio Tinto (Rio’s support is for an undisclosed amount, but on the project’s website it is described as “substantial financial assistance”).

It is worth adding that O’Faircheallaigh’s immediate employer Coffey International, who acts as an implementing service provider for AusAID, draws a large chunk of its revenue from the mining, oil and gas industry. Rio Tinto is one of Coffey’s major clients.

These financial links between Rio Tinto and those operationalising AusAID’s programme on Bougainville, which arestarting to be unravelled in the social media, are bound to be poorly received on the island.

And it comes in a particularly tense period in Bougainville’s post conflict history, where AusAID-funded advisors are coming under sustained fire. Indeed, in February Anthony Regan was publicly rebuked in Papua New Guinea’s national press by former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Sam Kauona. Matters then deteriorated last week with the full page advertisement.

One source of potential tension, recently highlighted on PNG Exposed, are the significant sums being paid to contract Regan’s services. In one instance, AusAID paid out $41,951.25 for a six week “Bougainville Strategy Review”.

But it is not just about the significant sums, Kauona and other senior political figures appear to view Regan as a partisan force. For example, in 2003 Regan publicly defended Rio Tinto against allegations of collusion during the war: “Despite some claims to the contrary,” Regan wrote, “there is as yet no credible evidence that BCL [Rio’s PNG subsidiary] took any direct part in the operations against the BRA [Bougainville Revolutionary Army]”. In a footnote Regan adds: “For example, in the claims made in a class action launched in 2000 in a U.S. court by some Bougainvilleans against BCL.”

This is a surprising claim given that the latter legal challenge is built on a significant body of evidence, including affidavits from towering figures in PNG’s political landscape, such as Michael Somare (former prime minister), John Momis (former minister, current ABG president) and Jerry Singirok (former commander of the PNG Defence Force). The testimony is corroborated by a large cache of internal BCL records.

Yet this is not the only surprising statement Regan has made with respect to the Bougainville conflict. He has also employed curious methods to question the conflict’s death toll.

One of the worst killers was the military blockade placed around Bougainville by the PNG government in May 1990. Nothing was allowed onto the island, not even humanitarian aid. Thus one scholar noted that it was stiffer – and more indefensible – than the sanctions placed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The death toll ballooned accordingly; women and children fared worst. Using records kept by Bougainvillean medical staff, Lissa Evans, from Community Aid Abroad’s Disaster Response Desk suggested 3000 people died needlessly in 1990-1991 alone. Indeed the situation was so parlous that Médecins Sans Frontières publicly condemned the PNG government for letting civilians die.

So it came as a shock to peace activists in 1999 when Regan suggested to an Australian parliamentary inquiry that the positive health effects of the military blockade may have in fact outweighed the deaths resulting from untreated illness or injury. Here is the quote:

“… [T]here is some evidence that deaths from untreated illness or injury may well have been offset to a significant degree – or even outweighed – by the improved general health of the population in areas under blockade. There are numerous reports from people who lived in such areas to the effect that improved general health standards were related to two main factors. The first was a diet far more healthy than before the conflict. It was free from most processed foods, fats, high salt and sugar contents, and without alcohol. The second was much increased physical exercise than prior to the conflict. This was due to such things as the need for subsistence gardening and increased walking due to lack of motor vehicles.”

To my knowledge there is no method in the social sciences that would offset the general health “benefits” of forced work and exercise, against deaths resulting from the denial of medicines and surgical equipment.

It is perhaps not surprising, in light of the above positions, that Regan’s AusAID advisory role on Bougainville has been criticised by major power brokers on the island.

Exacerbating tensions is last month’s announcement that O’Faircheallaigh and Regan will receive a $613,267 grant from AusAID to research “illegal mining” on the island. According to Griffith University:

“The research materialised as a spin-off from Professor O’Faircheallaigh’s involvement with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) in preparing for negotiations to re-open a once profitable Rio Tinto copper mine closed after an armed rebellion by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in 1989.”

Leaving aside that the Australian Government has ignored Rio Tinto’s well-documented criminogenic role on Bougainville, this announcement is already inviting strong criticism by Bougainvilleans in popular social media forums. One Bougainvillean commentator reported, “If they want to study illegal miners on  Bougainville there is no better place to start than with the illegal establishment of the Panguna Mine itself”, while another noted, “Bottom line, Australia, as always since colonial times, is only trying to protect its interest in Bougainville”.

While this AusAID research project might indeed have laudable ends – the summaries provided thus far certainly suggest this may be the case – nevertheless, the study is almost certainly going to be politicised owing to the investigators’ links and public position on the war.

In this respect AusAID cannot ignore public perception on Bougainville, or for that matter in Australia. Strong feelings of injustice remain. And rather more palpably, from a security perspective, significant actors on Bougainville resent the enduring role Rio Tinto and the Australian Government play in the island’s political economy.

Using Australian taxpayer dollars to fund advisors and organisations who are either linked with Rio Tinto or who have made divisive statements on the war, is not going to play well in this tense environment. Moreover, funding research into “illegal” mining by local alluvial prospectors is bound to prove similarly controversial while the likes of Rio Tinto, and indeed former Australian governments, escape formal scrutiny over their egregious role in the hostilities.

Consequently, AusAID’s celebrated contribution to the peace process on Bougainville may well unravel and be forgotten, if it continues to fumble about much less capably with the mining question.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai.

The Buin Mining forum which ended this afternoon was very different from the other earlier forums as Grade 12 students from the Buin Secondary school were allowed to participate and also contribute with the discussions.

The Students from Hutjena secondary school which the other two forums were held earlier did not allow its students to attend these forums.

South Bougainville leaders praised the Principal Of Buin secondary school, TONY MALAMO for allowing Grade 12 students to participate as they as future leaders must know what the future holds for them.

Last week the whole school also met with the Bougainville Autonomy Review team and students were also able to ask questions to the team.

The team leader, DR.NAIHUWO AHAI also praised the school management for allowing them into the school especially on a weekend.




 Click here to read April 1st to April 23rd, 2013 !

The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC)